As a single woman in her early 20s, Lara Massie hasn’t had to rely on anyone this lock down. Or depend on anyone either.

Aside from two housemates who occasional dictate what she watches on TV, the stay-at-home office worker basically doesn’t have to march to anyone’s drum but hers.

While her older sisters are at the mercy of their young children’s bedtimes, meal times, and nappy changes – Lara has been able to escape these archaic constructs that are forced on civillians by everyday life simply by being single in these uncertain times.

In lockdown, she’s come to learn that she doesn’t have to conform to any of society’s outdated understanding of ‘time’. Especially the very basic notion of ‘meal time’.

While breakfast is traditionally eaten within an hour or two after a person wakes in the morning, sometimes Lara is finding she can go up to six hours without ingesting anything in her average day in lockdown.

She’s also not afraid of a 2am ‘dessert’ – even after she’s already had 10pm dessert.

“Theres no rules anymore” she tells The Betoota Advocate.

“No breakfast. No lunch. No dinner”

As someone who has never worked in construction, Lara has never been that familiar with the time-bending concept of ‘smoko’ which can be both morning tea and lunch at the same time, between either 9am or 2pm. Until June this year, she had only ever known three meals a day, with maybe a handful of almonds and a coffee if she’s on a health kick.

But after 10 weeks in lockdown, even the loosely defined ‘smoko’ feels too regimented her.

“Yesterday I ate nothing but six sticks of celery. A loaf of bread and an entire packet of mint slices. Not in that order.” she says.

“There’s no flags, no borders here.”

“Tonight I might have some banana bread with peanut butter on it. In nine different portions, over the space of 7 hours”

“Or something even weirder than that”

“Maybe a bowl Nutri-Grain with apple juice instead of milk. I’ve got milk here, but it doesn’t mean I need to have it in my cereal. And I’m in no way obliged to only eating cereal in the morning. I’m not even grazing. Grazing implies there is some sort of a routine”

“This is complete chaos”

“There are no constraints. I am completely devoid of shame and expectation and routine”

“I’m just… Free”


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